Chris Weidman speaks for first time since losing to Luke Rockhold

Chris Weidman

It was a tough pill to swallow as Chris Weidman was handed the first defeat in his professional MMA career by Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 back in December.

Weidman appeared for his first interview outside of the UFC after losing to Rockhold and was in good spirits, looking to make a run back to the top in 2016 (transcribed by MMA Fighting):

“The way I felt after the loss was, by far, the most surreal feeling I’ve ever felt,” Weidman said Monday on The MMA Hour. “It felt like a bad dream, that I just wanted go back to sleep and just… make it not happen again. It felt like a bad dream, so it’s definitely been a surreal thing. But emotionally and mentally now, I feel like I’m in a way better place than I’ve ever been.”

Weidman spoke about continuing to improve with his team, but will make some changes he feels are necessary to get back to winning.

“It was just a great experience for me. I could play back a million things in that fight I could’ve done differently, but I’m really happy I lost. I feel like if I would’ve won that fight, if I would’ve somehow figured a way to beat him up, I wouldn’t have the opportunity that I have now to grow as a fighter and truly reach my potential. Now I feel like I have the freedom to change things that I’ve wanted to change for years. You don’t want to fix things that aren’t broken, so that kind of stops you from make changes. But now I feel more free than I’ve ever felt to change the things and do things that I wanted to do without feeling like I’m cursing myself, so I feel great. I’m real excited about the future. I feel like it’s just going to create a whole different monster inside of me, and I’m excited to go out there and fight again.”

Weidman goes on to mention that one of the toughest parts of losing, was telling his son that he had lost.

“That was the hardest part of everything, man,” Weidman said. “You’ve seen my son and my family so involved with my life, you’ve seen them on the Countdown shows, especially my son. He’s just so vocal. He knows Daddy is a champion. He’s so proud of me. He knows I’m fighting Luke Rockhold. He wants me to throw him down, beat him up, and he wants me to be the champion again. He knows Daddy doesn’t lose. I was undefeated forever, and I don’t lose. So for me to have to tell him myself … that morning they came to my room and I told them the news, and especially for my son, it was very hard for me.

“I get emotional just thinking of it now. It was very hard. But at the end of the day, it’s a month ago now. He still loves me. I’m still his hero. He still considers me a champion. He knows Daddy is going to have a good next fight. He wants me to beat up Luke Rockhold next time, he wants me to get him back. But it was a good learning experience even for him, for him to learn for his life — that sometimes you do lose, but that’s not what defines you. It’s about what you do afterwards and how you get back up again. And I’m back up, better than ever, and I can’t wait to show everybody who I truly am.”

Will Chris Weidman be able to return to the top of the middleweight division? Share your thoughts in the comments!